6 Ways To Stay Happy As A Developer
Hello, buddies! As developers, we love to stay happy, to motivate others and to share knowledge etc. So today I'm going to show you 5 ways to stay happy a Developer!
Staying at good project
This one can be quite obvious but programmers love great projects. In fact, if they find that the project is not that appealing, they won’t take it, unless there are no more free projects to participate in.
In IT space usually projects can take from 3 month to several years. The most optimal time is 6-12 months. In this gap you can refine your skills and get to know what you are capable of.
Also this amount of time is quite enough to get used to this particular project, and leaving it may be a little bit painful.
Imagine you work with something you absolutely adore, you love the area, you love your team and a set of technologies is amazing. Over time you know almost every aspect of your project, and you started to call it your baby. And then you realize that your deadline is set, you have a week or so, and your project is gone.
Of course you will feel frustrated, you worked on it for so long, and now it’s done.
The most important thing here is to learn how to integrate your success and just to let go.
Focus on success rather than failure
Programming is an activity that it's about constantly having a problem and solving it. That makes it a very risky activity. How many times did you get stuck at some point? And trying to find the reason of a bug? Probably you get to sleep and other day you solve it quickly, right?
We usually have deadlines, which makes us to come up with a delivery plan. In addition, we expect the software we build to work flawlessly, and the the users of the system we're building to like it.
As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong (and will). So, what can we do about all that?
Well, we can't do anything to prevent this to happen. But instead, we can:
- Don't blame yourself (or others): Remember you do everything the best you can, so just don't punish yourself when you get stuck, don't meet a deadline or whatever goes wrong. Probably the reason was in a bad planning, or short time.
- Instead, congratulate yourself for whatever tiny thing you did or tried. What I usually do is to by the end of the day, I write 4 or 5 things I did in a post-it and stick it somewhere around. When something goes wrong, think on what you tried to do instead of the failure itself. Then, you could do a retrospective on yourself or with your team, to see how to do this better for the next time.
- When something goes wrong, think on what you tried to do instead of the failure itself. Then, you could do a retrospective on yourself or with your team, to see how to do this better for the next time.
Build empathy within your team
Development is a team sport. One alone just cannot do much, plus it can get boring. So try to be as much comfortable as you can with the team you're working on. Any social skill you can apply here will be good. Here some are my tips:
- Learn to take/give feedback: Nothing can be more annoying than someone putting down your work. So don't be like that and give constructive feedback. One way is to apply the Sandwich model (good, bad, good) when you must say something unpleasant to someone. It'd be good for you if you can ignore non constructive feedback, or do the sandwich mentally yourself afterwards 😃
- Practice team building activities: It can go from doing sport, going for lunch... anything
- Thank someone everyday: This is a positive thinking technique that could apply to anything in your live. Send a message/email/whatever to a colleague thanking him/her, even for very small things, such as "Hey Buddy! Thanks a lot for helping me finding that bug before!"
Saying NO to a project that failed
When you work on your project, there will be people who will come and ask you to join their team, startup or whatever.
When you have a power to say No it feels awesome, especially if you found out later that that project wasn’t successful after all. You are feeling happy just because you saved lots of headaches and sleepless nights.
Manage your time and priorities
Nowadays life goes fast, so fast that we go faster with it. And we end up in a routine where we try to do too many things that we can manage to do. That makes us being really over-demanding on ourselves, leading to frustration and anxiety because of not completing the tasks, or doing it under much pressure for quite some time.
You wanna prepare a talk, attend a meetup, keep your Open Source work, write on your blog, stay healthy practicing sport, meet with friends, spend time with your family, run some side-project... and you work full time as well. Be careful, being too ambitious can turn against you.
What can we do to about it?
- Slow down and push the break: Minimize your task queue. Keep in mind it is better to do 2 things well done, than 4 badly/quickly done.
- Enjoy what you do: When you slow down, you have more time to pay attention to what you're doing, making it be more enjoyable. That's what mindfulness stands for.
- Apply a time management technique: Personally I (kind of) use Pomodoro. The point is to enforce breaks to move and distract yourself in order to don't spend hours on a task continuously.
Keep up your motivation
Stay hungry, stay foolish" There is nothing more wonderful that being motivated on what you're doing. It makes you love your work and spread that to the people of your circle.
Keeping yourself up to date and involved in the community of your technologies is a must for keeping up your motivation. You'll grow, which makes you feel productive. You'll socialize and meet new people. You'll find people you admire and people who admire you, and that is really beautiful.
You could feel like the following tips are against the point Manage your time and priorities, but they are beneficial as long as you make sure you don't overdo, and set a limit for these:
- Do Open Source!: Now is easier than ever, since an open source guide has been created by github itself and lots of experienced OSS devs. I've started doing it and got many good feedback from my projects users! Not to mention the feeling when you're doing something other people find useful
- Go to Meetups and conferences: You'll meet lots of people physically(may not in these pandemic), which opens you a lot of doors and keeps you connected to more communities and its ecosystem. If you're brave enough to speak in one, you'll get a great feeling afterwards, so go and try and see what it feels like 😉.
- Build side projects: It can be anything, such as building dummy apps, organizing events, sharing knowledge, creating libraries, etc. Some things I did is to create this blog, become an Egghead instructor, create Alicante Frontend meetup group with some friends, contributing to Open Source.. In this article Victoria Lohas beautifully explained the benefits of side projects to the developers.
There are really a lot of ways to be happier and better as a developer, and they come mostly from the psychology side instead of from being a successful developer. Here I told you some ways to stay happy, I'm looking forward to hear yours!